Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Yellow Peril

A car that could give the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car a run for its money heads to auction – It’s nickname is Yellow Peril

 

First owned by an “odd character of the American West” named John Henry Greenway Albert, a truly eccentric 1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat nicknamed the Yellow Peril is to be auctioned Friday by RM Sotheby’s at their Hershey sale.

 

1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat Yellow Peril
1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat Yellow Peril

1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat Yellow Peril
The car features a mother-in-law seat and another between the front and rear wheel arches

 

Born into a wealthy Maryland family and successful in his own right as a mining engineer, Greenway Albert’s first passion was racing cars. He was described as a man with “the funds to afford most whatever he could afford” and is best known for having set up a celebration known as Helldorado in his adopted hometown of Tombstone, Arizona in 1929.

 

Purchased new and modified by its owner and his chauffeur, Columbus Ridge, the car features a “boat-tailed” aluminium body that meant lighter and afford better performance and an unusual gas generating system for the engine. It was raced at events in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., as well as on East Coast road races. Albert later recounted that the only race at which he had been beaten was in Washington on Labor Day in 1915, when the car skidded on a wet board track, went through a patch of honeysuckle, re-entered the track and passed 17 cars in two laps before an engine fire forced it to the pits.

 

Subsequently, Albert fitted Yellow Peril with a “mother-in-law seat” to carry the “Helldoardo Queen” through Tombstone at his annual parade and painted the body yellow and black during a restoration he carried out in 1962. After his death, the distinctive vehicle passed through a number of hands and has subsequently participated in the Great American Race from 1984 to 1986, the 2001 Trans-Continental Tour and the 2002 Red Rock Tour, a 3,000-mile trip through the Canadian Rockies. It earnt a best in class at the  Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in 2008.

 

Last sold for £431,000 ($660,000, €584,000) in 2009, this “authentic road-warrior” is to be offered on 9th October for £457,000 to £554,000 ($700,000 to $850,000, €620,000 to €753,000). Mr Toad most certainly would put in a bid.

 

 

Update: 10th October 2015: The car sold for £456,000 ($698,500, €614,800).

 

 

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